I have been slowly gathering a cobbled-together list of books that C.S. Lewis read during Lent. Part of the problem is that, due to the humble nature of Lent, one does not boast of one’s reading. I knew that he read Dorothy L. Sayers‘ The Man Born to be King leading up to each Easter, but I thought there could be more gems there for the rest of us.
As it turns out, another season of Lent has come upon us and I have not finished the list.
I did, however, run across a list in the diary of C.S. Lewis’ brother, Warren H. Lewis. The note suggests, I think, that Warren was feeling low at this time:
Monday 30th March (Easter Monday), 1959
Another Lent over, and I make a note of my doings; not as a Pharisee, but that if I am spared until Lent 1960, I may do better. (1). I was a teetoller, drank tea for breakfast, and had only bread and butter on Friday mornings. (2). I attended evensong on Sundays, in addition to my usual services….
Warren Lewis then sets out the books that he read in Lent 1959:
- J.B. Phillips’ Letters to Young Churches (1947, a modern translation of the New Testament letter, prefaced by C.S. Lewis)
- François Maruiac, Life of Jesus (1937)
- G.K. Chesterton, Everlasting Man (1925)
- F.W. Robertson, Sermons Preached at Brighton (1847-1853)
- Henry Latham, Pastor Pastorum: or, The Schooling of the Apostles by our Lord (1890)
I suspect this is a sufficiently different Lenten reading list from anything you’ve seen before! If Lent is a season for shaping, this list is certainly designed to do that.
Warren Lewis ends his diary entry like this:
And when set down, how trifling it all seems.